A New Spoke In The Wheel Of Womanhood
A woman’s life used to be split into three parts: The Maiden, The Mother, and The Melancholy Old Woman.
However, there is a new spoke in the wheel that interjects stages two and three and for many women this new stage is turning out to be the most inspiring and profitable part of their lives.
They have done the fun, frivolous bit of being young, maybe even reckless, and finding a career and a partner. They have done the child rearing, career development, bill paying and faced the unexpected hurdles life has thrown at them – tragedy, reality, illness and the ups and downs. And they have come through the other side a bit bruised but not beaten.
The last stage used to kick in just when the bruises of life were healing and things were getting easier. This was seen as a lonely time: the kids leaving the nest, being widowed or divorced, parents passing away. It was a time when a woman would start thinking about sitting by the window and living for her grandchildren’s visits, or reading the death notices in the paper and waiting for the day when their name appeared.
However, this final spoke of the wheel of life has been intercepted by a whole new stage that women now look forward to rather than dread. Thanks to a lifetime of better diet (think about it, our parents were brought up on ration books and ‘old cures’), better education and better healthcare, the goal posts of being physically ‘past it’ or ‘unable’ have moved by 20 to 30 years.
More than ever, women in their 50s and 60s are now travelling solo and starting indie style online businesses, passing on the wisdom they have learnt through one or more of their life experiences to help steer other women through their life path.
The respect for the older, wiser woman is back!
Earlier today, I spoke with Deb Lange from Adelaide, Australia. Deb is a divorced mum of two. When her kids grew up and moved out, she cared for her parents in their home and then when they passed on she sold her home and started to travel. She has been to the USA, Sierra Leone, Europe, and South Africa and, today, I am chatting with her in Cambodia via Skype. She runs an online mentoring business to help women find and follow their intuitive body wisdom, to help them find themselves again and build their self-confidence, and to live the life of their dreams.
Listen to the interview by clicking the podcast or YouTube video above.
When Lainie Liberti, a 42-year-old single mom in California, said goodbye to her staff and closed the doors of her office for the Christmas holidays in 2008 she knew she wouldn’t be opening them again. The recession had hit her business hard and she had lost clients by the dozen. Other small boutique consultancies across the world were suffering the same fate. Branding, PR and other ‘additional’ consultancy services were the first to be let go as bigger businesses struggled against the recessional tide.
Sitting at home and sighing about how good things used to be and worrying about the debts that had to be paid was one option, but Lainie decided to think outside the box. She decided to do what she had done for so many businesses over her 18-year career – to rebrand. To rebrand her life.
“I decided to be the change instead of the victim. Miro, my son, was growing up and I wanted to have stress-free quality time with him. I said to my son, ‘What if we got rid of all our stuff and went on an adventure?’ He said, ‘Yes’, and when I told him he wouldn’t have to go to school he said, ‘OH YES!”
Lainie and the then 9-year-old Miro began the process of redesigning their lives. They sold and gave away all of their possessions, and six months later the pair hit the road for an adventure. Rather than be a dictating mom, Lainie took him on as a partner – for every decision they were in it together.
“The plan was to spend a year traveling and to reach Argentina by the end of the year.”
Four years and 14 countries later, Lainie and Miro have not yet reached Argentina. They currently reside in Peru and intend to continue to slow travel around the globe, living an inspired, possession-free lifestyle.
“Of course people thought we were crazy! A blonde single mom from California traveling with her son to all these ‘dangerous’ places. Yes, people thought we were crazy. A friend even recommended that we get kidnap insurance!
“Fear cripples a lot of people and stops them doing what they want to do. I’ve chosen to live without fear and live through inspiration and intuition instead. We decided to participate in the world without fear.”
When Lainie realised their travels were becoming a lifestyle rather than just a one-year adventure she looked into alternative schooling for her son and discovered unschooling.
“Once I discovered that learning never stopped, our world opened up with possibilities. I started learning again, and learning with my son. Learning about unschooling and trusting the process has been a huge gift for both of us.”
Lainie looks back on how they were when leaving and their transformation to the people they have become. Their relationships with the world, with cultures, and their attitudes have changed completely.
“I don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. I don’t need a lot of money to be happy. I am just happy and my relationship to stuff has definitely changed.”
However, learning to appreciate and live in the moment seems to be the biggest discovery for Lainie.
“I no longer needed to be the ‘doer’ and within the first year, became perfectly fine with just being still, in the moment. Other people had a hard time with that, but that no longer was my problem. For me, that was huge.
“There is nothing more precious than the moment. To think, I almost missed the ones that included my son’s tween years. I missed a lot of the younger years because I was working. Working. A. Lot. I’ll never compromise these [moments] again.”
To hear the podcast of Rosie’s full interview with Lainie click the link below.
To follow Lainie and Miro’s Travels:
To learn about their unschooling in Peru project:
Recommended Reading About Unschooling:
Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education
The Unschooling Unmanual
The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom (Prima Home Learning Library)
If you liked this PLEASE share by clicking the buttons below!
Where to now? BACK TO HOME PAGE